The Funeral Today, A Celebration Of Life

a writing by Elizabeth Padillo Olesen

This afternoon we said goodbye to my father-in-law, the father of my husband. I have known him within 25 years, he as part of my children’s childhood, part of my introduction to my new country, Denmark.

He as a hardworking farmer, husband, grandfather, father-in-law and a great friend has meant to many who were gathered to attend his funeral this afternoon. Nice to see so many wreaths and bunches of flowers, lined up nicely on the aisle, from the door of the church up to the foot of the coffin, facing before the altar. Nice to see friends and relatives joining to sing songs of praise, say prayers and hear the words of comfort. It was a privilige to listen to the stories about his own life as summarized by a priest. And it was heart warming to sit together with those who joined in the funeral for more hours of fellowship around a table while sharing a common meal.

Funerals are occasions to celebrate life, a great opportunity to gather together as a family and community, a radical time to express that even in death something good can be celebrated, remembered and can never be forgotten. Tears were shed. Embraces and pat on the shoulders brought comfort. Handshakes helped us recall forgotten names and renew friendships and acquaintances.

Funeral, like this, brings us together to once again be reminded how precious and beautiful life is. Funeral is a celebration of life!
February 3, 2012

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